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Fine Chocolate


aguynamedrobert
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Hey Everyone,

I'm new around here but own and operate my own chocolate website. Do we have any chocolate lovers on this forum?

It's great to see such a huge community of people on here! I look forward to talking with all of you.....

God Bless,

Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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Welcome, Robert. There are many chocolate lovers and chocolate makers who are members of the Society. A simple site search on the word "chocolate" should bring you to many of them. Off the top of my head I know Kerry Beal (aka The Chocolate Doctor) is an active member and there are many others. We will all look forward to your contributions.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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That jungle Cabana on the chocolate week tour in Belize sounds awesome...

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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Hello all,

Well I decided to start that website early in this year(2006) because I wanted to give other a chance to learn chocolate without having to go to culinary school. Also it is great as my own notebook lol. If I forget something I can go to my own website and look it up...

Actually for those chocolate lovers out their, the news isn't out yet but the site is in the final stages of design by a profressional designer and myself and it is going to be a far better website. It will have an even more extensive learning section plus forums(big part) references websites and books....the works...so stay tuned.

As for that vacation to Belize. yeah I couldnt believe I found that. It takes you down into the heart of cacao growing region and goes through a whole week of learning...great stuff....

wow well this forum is just so great....so many people are here. Where are all you guys from and how long have you been on here?

Have a good one,

Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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Hey chocolate doctor,

I gotta say I like your website and what you do. I am not as much into the molding and art of chocolate but respect highly the ones who do it. I like that santa in the top left corner of your page...

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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Hey chocolate doctor,

I gotta say I like your website and what you do. I am not as much into the molding and art of chocolate but respect highly the ones who do it. I like that santa in the top left corner of your page...

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

Thank you. I'll be molding a borrowed Santa with reindeer mold in the next couple of weeks. It's 18 1/2 inches long and 10 1/2 inches high. Should make for a huge item. Not sure how much chocolate but I suspect a couple of kilos. Keep an eye on the thread 'Confections, what did we make'.

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So how long have you been working with chocolate? How did you get into it? did you get right into molding chocolate or did you start with making truffles or any other kind of chocolates?

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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So how long have you been working with chocolate? How did you get into it? did you get right into molding chocolate or did you start with making truffles or any other kind of chocolates?

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

I'll be the first answer to this one, everyone else should jump in when they get the chance.

I started about 15 years ago when I bought a sinsation temperer. I would see the ads in the back of fine cooking, but couldn't bring myself to mail order anything that expensive from the US. We were in San Fransisco and I saw one in Sur la Table and brought it home. It was a noisy thing, sounded like a hair dryer going for hours at a stretch, and only tempered about 1 1/2 lbs.

For several years I used it, mostly truffles and truffle mice. Molding didn't happen until I learned to temper by hand and could temper large enough quantities to fill molds.

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Fine website, Robert, thanks for all that work.

I'll chime in with my background in chocolate, which is brief. I started making the simplest chocolates 7-8 years ago, as I had bought a candy shop which sold chocolates made elsewhere. I started with a Hilliard's Little Dipper, making clusters and barks, and dipping caramels and pretzels. Once I was comfortable at that level I started making my own centers for caramels, truffles, creams, buttercrunch, etc. I've taken short classes at ICE and take classes from the great chocolatiers whenever I can.

Jennifer

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One of the first things I ever made by myself was a chocolate roll made of melted chocolate chips, graham crackers, maybe peanut butter? I was 7.

Good chocolate is hard to come by where I grew up, so it was mostly dipping things in melted chips or confectionery coating. My introduction to serious chocolate work was 15 years ago during a college externship at a fine hotel where they had a chocolate room and I spent a lot of time hand-dipping to very exacting, competition-level "no-foot" standard.

Since then it has been off and on, making chocolates in pastry school, as petits fours in restaurants, and working in another chocolate room for one of the greats, Jacques Torres. As of now I am an instructor in the pastry and confectionery arts, sharing the craft with others.

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Hey Jcho, have you ever been able to go to Garrison Confections? I don't know how close you are to providence but he is a great chocolatiers and was wondering if you had met him and tasted his chocolates?

Reenicake, So you are an instructor? where do you teach at? and how long did you work with Jacques Torres? did you work with him doing boxed chocolates or doing his newer bean to bar process and making chocolate from scratch?

Great stories everyone...Love to hear them...I have to jet but I will get on later today and share mine.

God Bless,

Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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Well, I've only been working with chocolate for about 2 years now. It started off as making very simple truffles at home and gradually buying books, learning more and, perhaps hardest around where I live, obtaining the correct ingredients and equipment (nearly all my equipment has been ordered on the Net from overseas).

I've managed truffles, nougat, marshmallow, caramels etc and am working more with moulded chocolates at the moment (I successfully used my new magnetic moulds for the first time this weekend). I'm the first to admit though that 2 years is not long in the chocolate world so I still have plenty to learn. (I'm going to a 5-day chocolate school in January).

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well I began my journey in the middle of Culinary school. I was searching for what I really wanted to do and I decided on chocolate. It is such a great medium to deal with that I just couldn't get enough. I got right into after culinary school making chocolates and candies and have been studying exclusively Bean to Bar production of chocolate for a while now. That is where my true interest is....the actually making of chocolate....well that is me....

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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I teach here in New York -- at ICE in NYC and at Monroe College in New Rochelle. I am an instructor for the professional programs but do recreational classes also. I first worked under Jacques as an extern at Le Cirque after pastry school, left for sister restaurant Osteria del Circo, then came back almost two years later to rejoin the pastry team in his final year there before he opened up his first own place in Brooklyn. My sojourn in the chocolate room (as opposed to the other pastry stations) was relatively brief but intense, maybe about 4 months of thousands of chocolates and the various garnishes used on the showy desserts, like the chocolate stove. We also produced the chocolates that the Palace placed in the rooms; it was here that he set up the templates/basic formulas for much of the start-up line of filled chocolates. When I got married he was unable to come, but sent 200 of those chocolates to serve at our reception!

I often bring my students to his two shops, he's always very welcoming and warm when he sees me. In the downtown shop he has a video on continuous play of himself and his staff doing the entire chocolate-making process, from selecting and roasting beans to packaging the final bars.

Andrew (Garrison) Schotts' wife Tina was Jacques' assistant in writing his first book, Dessert Circus. The pastry world, and thus the chocolatier world, is small.

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Hello and Welcome.Thank you for putting you website,I will be checking it with more attention when I go back home.

I have been working with chocolate for few monts now ,seriusly ,I used to work in restaurant as pastry chef , but that was long time go and since then I havent work in the field, till recent months,then I remeber how much I loved to bake and expecially how much I loved to work with chocolate.I started with the symple things I remeber form the past then I went on and thank to the help of this wonderfull site I have learned so much.I will probably open a little business pretty soon ,I hope as soon as i come back from this trip.

Vanessa

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Wow,

I love how we all have such different stories to tell. Thank you everyone for sharing so far...

Reenicake....how long have you been instructing for? I talked to someone recently who also worked for Jacques. I was very interested in his bean to bar production. How do you like his in house chocolate?

Desiderio....how long have you been a pastry chef for? and where are you from? I sense an accent? When do you hope to open your own shop? will you make it a pastry shop or chocolate shop?

I hope everyone has a great day!,

Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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Haha Robert , you too kind ,"sense an accent",very kind hehe.I am from Rome Italy, I was pastry chef in there first in my parents restaurants,then I enter an assosiaciation of bakers in Rome , where I did few professional classes with them .I worked in an out for few years doing some catering as well.

I am hoping to have a very simple business , for now it will be a rented kitchen and retail sell of my chocolates to locals stores, expecially stores that sell local products,so for now it will be chocolates only .Maybe later I will try to have my own shop , with italian pastries and cappuccino :laugh::laugh: , the italian way ,even though the area where I live isnt probably the best place to have a busness like that .

Vanessa

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What city do you live in in colorado. I worked their for a while in Durango Colorado. It is in the southwestern corner of colorado. I worked for "Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory". Are you working anywhere right now?

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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I started my chocolate work almost a year ago when my wife bought me a Rev2 tempering machine for my birthday. She thought it would be a better hobby than ice cream which I was into at the time, and she was right.

I started with truffles, but fairly quickly obtained molds and included bon-bons in my experimentation. I have an extensive library of chocolate books and have made use of the multitude of resources right here on eGullet. My batch sizes are small as my focus is on learning, but I did make over 280 pieces for wedding favors for a friend. I am very much looking forward to next week when l will be attending JPW's advanced chocolate workshop at the French Pastry School in Chicago.

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Hey David,

That is going to be a FUN course to take. Jean-Pierre Wybauw is a genius of chocolate and you are going to learn a ton! Take great notes!

Let all of us know how it went when you are done with it. I will be eager to hear...

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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I have been teaching at ICE since 2001 -- sort of falling into it as a result of being jobless after 9/11, since the restaurant where I was the pastry sous is 2 blocks away from WTC (my fiance, now husband, worked there also, so we were both scrambling.) I had taken the pro program when it was still known as Peter Kump's, and decided to see if Career Services had any catering leads. I ran across my teacher, who offered me a job. I accepted, thinking I could always quit if I hated teaching. I am still doing this, and even more, 5 years later.

Jacques' chocolate has a rather complex flavor profile -- I like the 72% a lot, with espresso-cognac and toffee-like notes. Of the single-origins, I like the Peru the best. I also like his peanut butter-filled milk choc bar, but can't have it in the house anymore because our son is allergic to dairy and peanuts, and gets into everything. He can have dark chocolate though.:D

David J., how exciting! Do you know what you will be doing? Hope you'll share any notes, pictures or insights, please?

PS is anygoing to the Chocolate show?

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Yeah David...if you have a camera then get some pics...its always nice to have those on file and of course to share with us :)

I would love to go to the Chocolate Show in New York but I'm out here in California...are you going?

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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My chocolate story... I took a truffle making class run by a local store, and realized that I already knew nearly as much as the instructor, and could learn the rest better from eGullet. I took the ganache we'd made home and tried tempering and dipping on my own the next day. It turned out so beautifully and easily, that I decided I'd try making some truffles to sell to my friends and neighbors for Mother's Day. Then the orders started coming in, and as I quickly got up to over 200 pieces I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. The tempering and dipping which had seemed so easy the first time didn't go quite so effortlessly the second time, but it worked out in the end.

I've done a lot more reading and learning and two sales since then, one for Father's Day and one for Halloween. I've recently started a conversation with the owner of a commercial kitchen, so I can have the option of selling at a wholesale level to local retailers or whatever.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thanks for sharing...its fun to see people get started working out of their homes and then getting bigger. I actually had a chef going through culinary school that had her own chocolate business out of her home. Now I believe she managed to get a store front...but without starting in her home she might not have been able to....keep up the great stories!

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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